Religious Studies

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OnlineU Most Affordable Online DegreesReligion has existed since the dawn of humanity, with evidence showing our earliest societies engaging in some sort of religious practices. Considering this ever-present nature of religion, what does our everlasting devotion to higher powers say about the very nature of human beings? Athens State University’s online Master of Arts in Religious Studies allows you to explore that question to the fullest extent, fueled by a dedicated PhD-level faculty who will push you to develop the critical thinking and leadership skills you’ll need to passionately pursue research and career opportunities that explore humanity’s connections to religion.

As one of the few religious studies graduate degrees that are nondenominational and unaffiliated with any specific religious groups, our online religious studies master’s program examines religion from an objective, neutral perspective. Our faculty will help you uncover your own interests in the field of religion and work with you to develop research that aligns with areas you’re passionate about.

What You’ll Learn

We offer our MA in Religious Studies in two tracks, based on your goals — thesis and non-thesis:

  • The 30-credit thesis track is perfect for students who are interested in the academic pursuit of religious studies, as it is specifically designed to propel them toward doctoral degrees, teaching positions, or research-related careers.
  • The 36-credit non-thesis track helps students develop the skills to advance to leadership positions in faith-based communities and nonprofits with additional courses such as Advanced Study of Social Change and Transformational Leadership and Advanced Study of Leading Change in Faith Communities and Other Nonprofits.

Students in this online program broaden their perspective on the basic tenets of religion while comparing major world religions and their beliefs. They gain a deeper understanding of:

  • The historical development of religion
  • The cultural significance of religion
  • Religious orientation’s relation to society

Religious Studies Careers

A religious studies master’s will prepare you for a variety of careers in everything from church leadership to social work and work with nonprofits. The program will also prepare you for Ph.D. work in religious studies.
Possible Careers:

  • Pastoral leadership
  • Children, youth, and adult education
  • Teaching and/or research
  • Social work
  • Nonprofit and community service
  • Counseling



Bachelor of Arts